Is the Winner of Cris Cyborg vs. Holly Holm the Greatest Women’s Fighter of All Time?

Cris Cyborg and Holly Holm weigh in on their fight determining the greatest women's fighter of all time

History could be on the line in the UFC 219 main event when Cris “Cyborg” Justino defends her women’s featherweight title for the first time against Holly Holm.

Cyborg’s dominance has been unmatched with an undefeated streak that stretches back more than a decade while winning titles in Strikeforce, Invicta FC and eventually the UFC, she’s been arguably the best pound-for-pound women’s fighter for at least the last five years.

As for Holm, she’s already a former UFC women’s bantamweight champion with a chance to become the first ever two division title holder since the promotion introduced the women’s divisions several years ago. If that’s not enough, Holm was the first person to add a blemish to Ronda Rousey’s record when she won their fight back in 2015 and she has the opportunity to add another legendary name to her resume if she can get past Cyborg on Dec. 30.

That’s why it’s possible that the winner of this fight could be called the greatest women’s mixed martial artist of all time — just don’t tell that to Cyborg or Holm.

“I never think like that,” Cyborg said during the UFC 219 media conference call. “I think always, you know, each fight I respect my opponents. I have a lot of girls I’ve already fought. I think Holly’s a great fighter for me, because she’s a big name, too. She has a lot of fights, a lot of experience. I think it’ll be a great fight.

“I’ll leave the people to think like that about me. I don’t think like that. I have to think about getting better each fight.”

Cyborg has never been one to pay attention to the adoration showered on her as she’s run roughshod over every opponent she’s faced during her win streak.

The same could be said for Holm, who has that rare opportunity to become the first ever two division champion in the history of the UFC women’s divisions but even that’s not enough to get her to start talking about being the greatest of all time just yet.

The way Holm sees it, beating Cyborg would be a huge accomplishment and she would then hold wins over two of the greatest women’s fighters of all time, but her career is far from finished and only that will tell where she sits on that mythical list after retirement.

“I know that a win would definitely be a huge thing for my legacy and my career, but it’s definitely not something that would just define it right now,” Holm said. “Even with a win I would still want to push forward and be succeeding after this fight. There have been fights in my career that I’ve won that have helped with what I feel is my legacy, but each fight is not the defining fight.

“It’s the whole career and every opponent that’s gotten me to here, the whole journey along the way.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.